His third stint with the Los Angeles Lakers did not go as planned, but Dwight Howard still played an important role as a veteran presence and positive voice in the locker room.
Howard has done a complete 180 from the player and person he used to be and did a great job of trying to keep the Lakers together during what ended up being a tumultuous year. Even on nights when he did not play, the big man remained the team’s biggest cheerleader much to the delight of fans.
Like the rest of the roster, Howard took time to reflect on the season and revealed he looked inward when considering why things did not go the way they wanted.
“Myself and what I could’ve did better,” Howard said. “The areas I’ve got to improve in. What I could’ve done to help my teammates at any position. On the court, off the court or whatever. So I just look to myself and what I could’ve done to help this team be successful this season.
With so many years under his belt, it is an open question whether or not Howard will retire but he believes he can still play. He also believes that next year should be a better one for Los Angeles.
“Obviously, I personally still feel like I can do more and bring more just given the opportunity, but I’m grateful having that opportunity to come here and play.
“I know it didn’t end the way we all hoped for and expected it to, but looking back on this season there’s a lot to be very thankful for. I thought we ended the season yesterday with some really good energy. I know that it was our last game of the season and we won’t be able to compete for a championship, but just the vibe and the energy that was displayed yesterday is very positive. So I think the future of this team will be a lot better after considering the disappointing season that we had this year.”
Howard has seen both the good and bad of what the Lakers can be, and while this was certainly a season to forget brighter days should be ahead for the Purple and Gold.
Dwight Howard wants to stay with Lakers
With the way the Lakers’ salary cap sheet looks, they will be forced to round out the roster with minimum contracts again. Howard looks well past an everyday player, but he said he wants to come back to the team for next season.
“Why do I want to leave? I want to be cemented somewhere. I love being here. I love the fans. I have a good time. I really want an opportunity where I can really go out with a bang (laughs). I’ve only got a couple years left, so I want an opportunity where I can go out and show my skills and talent and do it in the right way, but also win. I feel like I deserve it.”
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